If your goal is to keep heart-disease risks low and achieve or maintain a healthy weight, eating lots of red meat may not be in your best interest. However, red meat does provide you with a variety of essential nutrients and can be included, in moderation, to any heart-healthy meal plan. To get the full picture of red meat nutrition and it’s downfalls/benefits, keep reading!
Drawbacks of Red Meat
The fat in red meat is mainly saturated fat, which can increase your blood cholesterol and heart disease risk when eaten in excess. In addition, processed reds are often high in sodium, which can raise your blood pressure. A study published in 2009 in Diabetes Care reports that people who eat red meat have higher risks for developing diabetes, and generally have higher body mass indexes than people who avoid red meat. Not sure what to substitute red meat for? Take a look at our comprehensive list here.
Red Meat Benefits
Not all is doom and gloom if you are a fan of red meat, however, as it makes for an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins, which are nutrients your body actually requires on a daily basis. A study published in 2011 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that women with anemia, often caused by iron deficiency, have lower intakes of red meat than women without anemia. While many plant proteins do not contain all essential amino acids your body needs, the protein in red meat is high-quality complete protein — which is beneficial for muscle building and post-workout recovery.
Which Type Should I Choose?
If you do choose to include red meat in your diet, pick very lean — such as round, chuck, loin or flank — cuts of meat. Trim off all visible fat marbling before you cook the meat as well. If you prefer ground beef, choose brands that are very lean containing just 5 percent fat or less. If you’re concerned about hormone use in the production of beef, choose organic brands of beef products. Therefore, a suitable knife will help you to get the perfect cut. Find here the Brisket Slicing Knife Buying Guide to have a clear idea of executing the entire stuff safely.
How Much Should I Eat?
The American Heart Association recommends limiting combinations of lean red meats, skinless poultry and fish to no more than 6 ounces per day. A 3-ounce portion of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards. Probably much less than you would think, right?